Data Research Centre

2012 Statistics Canada Workshop on Health Data

The general aim of the 3-day workshop was to familiarize participants with analytical capabilities required for working with microdata files of Statistics Canada’s Health Division.

Workshop Overview

February 21 (Medical Sciences Building room 148) - The presentations and discussions covered the objectives, methodology, questionnaire content, and dissemination plans of the following:

February 22 (Kresge Building Room K7) – The hands-on workshop provided an overview of the various considerations to be taken into account when using the National Population Health Survey (NPHS) data. It also provided participants an understanding of the bootstrap method of variance estimation using Bootvar.

February 23 (Kresge Building Room K7) - Using data gathered through NPHS, the hands-on workshop familiarized participants with different longitudinal data analysis methods to better address research questions on change and event occurrence. The workshop emphasized the importance of taking into account the survey design when analyzing data.

An Environmentally Friendly Atmosphere

The workshop materials included slide presentations and worksheets. The workshop was “green” in that much of the materials were sent to participants in electronic version prior to the workshop. All the participants brought in their laptops to the workshop.

About the Venue

The work stations in the workshop venue (Room K7 at the Kresge Building) have SAS 9.1, the statistical package that was used for the training. A CD containing the synthetic longitudinal data file of the National Population Health Survey was provided to each participant. The data file was used by the instructors to illustrate the various statistical methods, and by the participants to practice on the techniques.

Instructors and Participants

Abdelnasser Saïdi

Senior Methodologist
Methods for Justice, Health Analysis and Health Measures
Household Survey Methods Division
Statistics Canada

He obtained his PhD in Statistics from the University of Grenoble (France) and was a professor of statistics at the University of Algiers and at Université de Montréal. His main research areas of interest are analytic inference from complex survey data and analysis of data linked by probabilistic methods.

Rose Evra

National Population Health Survey, Household Survey Methods Division
Statistics Canada

She has worked for the Unified Enterprise Survey that gathered business data. She obtained her Mathematics degree at Université de Montréal.


Participation in the first day of the workshop was open to everyone.  For the second and third day, the number of participants was limited by the number of workstations in the workshop venue.

On the first day, 35 people participated, many coming from Western’s various faculties and departments including Biostatistics, Health Sciences, Statistical Science, Social Psychology, Sociology, and Health Economics. Thirteen students participated in the full 3-day workshop, and five others participated in the 2nd and 3rd days only.  Of these eighteen students, 13 were masters, 4 doctoral, and 1 post-doctoral student.

Participant Evaluation

The workshop proceeded smoothly as planned, with both the participants and instructors appreciative of the event. These can be gleaned from the informal conversations with the participants and from the responses to the evaluation questionnaire. 

Comments made by the participants in the questionnaire are interesting and useful, as can be seen from some excerpts: